Updated July 1, 2021
Finding high-quality shoes is a must when it comes to sports. Every tennis fan knows the impact that shoes can have on your game, so it is essential to buy the very best. However, how do you know which shoe is the best? There are many factors to look for such as cushion, durability, and specific technologies which can help you reach peak performance. To make your shoe search a little easier, here are 10 top women’s shoes for 2021.
New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Lav v2
The Lav v2 is the shoe of choice for Danielle Collins on the WTA Tour. New Balance made some subtle improvements over the first Lav. The most obvious upgrade is the more traditional tongue. The back of the shoe features an extended heel counter for greater support, and the ankle collar comes up higher around the Achilles tendon for a more locked in fit. NB’s Fresh Foam X updates the midsole for improvements in rebound and comfort, and the upper FITWEAVE construction should be familiar from fans of their running shoes. The white and laser blue colorway exudes the class of Wimbledon, but for those who seek a little more flair, brighter colorways are on the way.
Nike Women’s Vapor Pro
Nike’s touring pros made the shift to the Vapor Pro at the beginning of 2021. The Vapor Pro continues the strong tradition of the outgoing Vapor X, with an incredibly lightweight game-day shoe. This version is lighter than the X, but also more supportive. The soft foam midsole pairs nicely with a Zoom Air unit in the heel for close to the court comfort. The full-length foot frame bolsters the stability on the shoe’s lateral side to protect the foot during intense lateral bursts. Just turn on the Tennis Channel for a few minutes and the odds are you will see Nike Vapor Pros on the world’s top players.
Nike Women’s REACT Vapor NXT
After lots of success in the running category, Nike brings REACT foam to a tennis shoe for the first time. This shoe keeps the “Vapor” moniker, but the shoe ups the comfort and support of the Vapor Pro, albeit with a heavier weight. The REACT foam is a softer foam under the arch, paired with firmer foam on the lateral side to keep the foot closer to the court for dynamic play. Additionally, the REACT Vapor has bolstered the medial forefoot with tough plastic to protect the shoe from court abrasions, and a new outsole design encourages those who incorporate hard court sliding into their game. The shoe’s lateral side features a stiffer frame for support that mirrors an athlete’s most common movements on the court.
Wilson Women’s Rush Pro 3.5
The Rush Pro has been the most well rounded Wilson performance tennis shoe for years. With version 3.5, Wilson tapered the previous 3.0 design for a more sporty, aggressive look. Starting with the outsole, the Rush Pro 3.5 features Duralast rubber and a 6-month outsole guarantee for solid performance on all court surfaces. Wilson’s R-DST+ infuses the midsole with functional cushioning, while a shank plate helps keep the shoe from twisting. The upper is comprised of a thin, breathable mesh, which coincides with Wilson’s Endofit full inner sock system for step-in comfort. The Rush Pro 3.5 is a well-rounded shoe for any tennis player, and it has a nice combination of cushion, stability, and durability.
HEAD Women’s Sprint Pro 3.0 SF
SuperFabric material returns in this updated Sprint Pro 3.0. SuperFabric is integrated into the shoe’s upper and is an abrasion-resistant material with incredible flexibility. HEAD’s inner sock system creates step-in comfort that works really well with the mesh around the ankle collar. Head’s TRI-NRG system offers a lightweight cushion, dampening, and plenty of support. The SF has a minimal heel-toe offset to keep more of the shoe on the court during play to help maintain balance. The 6-month outsole guarantee and the uniquely strong yet flexible SuperFabric material, make the Sprint Pro 3.0 SF an impressive tennis shoe for the 2021 season.
adidas Women’s Ubersonic 4
The 4th generation Ubersonic has come to play! A major upgrade from adidas is the LightStrike midsole, which makes the shoe more comfortable, while maintaining the close to the court feel of the previous versions. The 4 features the most comfortable inner sock construction around, and it blends seamlessly with the shoes’ mesh upper to reduce the shoe’s overall weight, while increasing breathability. adidas PrimeGreen incorporates recycled material in the Ubersonic 4 for a more sustainable performance shoe. This shoe perfectly fits the silhouette of the foot, and it is probably the closest thing to playing in a sock.
Babolat Women’s Jet Mach 3
Babolat’s Jet Mach 3, as the name might imply, is all about SPEED! Matryx® EVO fabric throughout the shoe’s upper is incredibly lightweight and consists of Aramid and Polyamide threads for greater flexibility and comfort. The heel also features KPRS-X cushioning for shock absorption and increased comfort. These shoes fit true to size, and like a glove. Compared with the previous version, this update has a rockered heel for easier weight transfer and more cushion underfoot.
Wilson Women’s Kaos Mirage
While the Rush Pro 3.5 was earlier in the list, Wilson also revamped their speed model with the Kaos Mirage. The Mirage took inspiration from a jet fighter. The most noticeable feature of the Mirage is the One-Strap Lacing System which secures tightly for easy-on and easy-off. While the shoe is lightweight and easy to slide into, the TrueMotion Chassis offers flexible arch support for superior agility and beefed-up lateral support for increased stability. To protect the shoe’s upper from dragging, Rubber Medial Drag Pads are positioned to reinforce high wear areas. The R-DST+ midsole offers a strong mash-up of cushion and performance. With a design sure to turn heads, the Kaos Mirage is Wilson’s ultimate game-day shoe, and it is one of the most lightweight offerings on the market.
Diadora Women’s Speed Blushield 5
The Blushield 5 maintains the comfort of past models but it incorporate a few key tweaks to up performance and on-court feel. The reworked upper now has a skin-like mesh for enhanced breathability. The BLUSHIELD cushion protects the midfoot and metatarsal area from shock. Most notably, the reworked upper now has a skin-like mesh for enhanced breathability. It also has increased cushioning around the ankle and the tongue of the shoe to provide comfort with increased support. Though the shoe is on the heavier side, the Speed Blushield offers immediate step in comfort, and is a nice option for those with a wider foot.
K-SWISS Women’s Ultrashot 3
The Ultrashot 3 from K-Swiss gained some momentum down in Australia when Venus Williams and Fabio Fognini wore them during the year’s first major. K-Swiss has always had a following due to the wider toe box and more spacious forefoot sections of the shoe. The Ultrashot 3 features the same sixth month outsole guarantee and impressive stability that the previous model was known for, but introduce new Surgelite midsole technology for lightweight cushioning and energy return. As stable as this shoe is, the mesh upper allows for greater airflow. The redesigned tongue is more comfortable than ever.
Yonex Women’s Power Cushion Eclipsion 3
A really good sign for Yonex shoes is that many players who use a Yonex racquet, also play on tour wearing Yonex footwear. Obviously Stan the Man is the most well-known, but young Polish star Hubert Hurkacz wears the Eclipsion 3 as well. The shoe blends some breathable mesh in the upper with an external “cage” to make sure the material can hold up to hard court tennis. Yonex Power Cushion technology does an admirable job of making each step comfortable, and it absorbs shock from aggressive changes of direction.
One thing we have learned over the years is that a single tennis shoe is NOT for everyone. Everyone’s foot is a little different, so look for the perfect match for your game at Tennis Express.